Restaurant: Commander’s Palace, New Orleans
Creator: Ferrel Dugas, bar chef
Inspiration: It’s a tip of the hat to the city’s use of pecans in Creole dishes.
Key Ingredients: Kentucky Bourbon, Champagne, lemon juice, pecan liqueur and a muddle of thyme
What the Judges Said: “We were skeptical of this drink. Champagne with bourbon? Crazy, right? Wrong. Dugas pulls it off in this cocktail. As insane as it may seem, it’s the pecan liqueur that brings these two incongruent ingredients together. Add some earthy thyme, and this is a cocktail that we’d drink with grandma and a hunk of her outrageous pecan pie.”